Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Pythagorean, 5/15/2009

5-1 is a very good week against the Nationals and Indians. It's a great week against the Yankees and Phillies.

  • I've mentioned it before, but it remains astounding to me how strongly our perceptions are colored by what we last saw. This week felt like a triumph through the fourth inning on Sunday, and it still should - they went 5-1 while playing two teams that started the week in first place, but Sunday's loss just put such a damper on the emotional reaction to this week's games.


  • A similar phenomenon relates to the starting rotation. Daisuke Matsuzaka was good in his first season, was one of the best starters in the AL last year, and yet his slow start has huge numbers of WEEI callers (and hosts) looking for a way to get him out of the rotation. Just ridiculous.


  • Speaking of Matsuzaka, he needs to get cut some slack for Saturday's performance, as Philadelphia's three run fourth came nearly three hours after he pitched the first inning. That he came back at all after a nearly two hour rain delay was very helpful for the team, but it created a situation in which it would have been very difficult for anyone to pitch well..


  • I was shocked to see the Red Sox as 9th in the AL in runs allowed this week. What that says is that there were a lot of low-scoring games everywhere. They allowed 0, 5, 3 and 2, for a total of 10 runs in their first four games, 2.5 runs per game. Of course, they then allowed 17 in the last two, so I guess that skews the averages a little bit...


  • The 8-0 start vs. the Yankees is nowhere near as meaningful as some people want to make it out to be. I think that Boston's a better team, possibly the best team in baseball, but this doesn't prove it. Most of the time, the Red Sox are going to lose when Rivera is on the mound with a two-run lead in the ninth, but in game one of this season, Bay homered. Most of the time, they're going to lose when Sabathia takes a two-run lead into the 8th, but they happened to beat him this week. Most of the time, they're going to lose when Beckett gives up six and Burnett's on the mound, but Burnett had a meltdown in May, and the Red Sox won that one, too. Boston's a better team, with a better starting staff and a better bullpen, but Alex Rodriguez missed the first five games of the 8, and the Sox have had some good timing with some of their production. And it's fortunate for them that they have, as a 6-2 record against the Yankees would have them two back in the East instead of two up.


  • Can we all agree that Toronto's relevance, other than as a spoiler in games played against the real AL East contenders, has ended for the year?


  • Can we all agree that Tampa's 5-1 week1, hosting the Angels and Nationals, is nowhere near as impressive as the Red Sox 5-1 week, hosting the Yankees and visiting the Phillies?


  • Can we agree that the Yankees 3-4 week was even less impressive than it sounds, as it really was a 2-5, and then the Mets turned a loss (a real honest-to-goodness loss, not an "a loss if we don't get something done here" almost loss) into a win on Friday night?


  • Red Sox Player of the Week: By Runs Created, it was Jason Bay, who had 25 at-bats, hit .360/.433/.560/.993 and created 6.14 runs. By Runs Created/25 outs it was Julio Lugo, who had .750/.727/1.000/1.727 and created 4.67 runs in only eight at-bats. But neither wins, as the award goes instead to David Ortiz, who hit .308/.471/.769/1.24 with 2 (important) home runs and 4.44 created runs in at-bats, and finally looked as if the slump might be just a slump (albeit one of epic proportions) rather than the end of his viable MLB career.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week: Through four innings in Philadelphia yesterday, this was Josh Beckett's award to lose. He proceeded to do so. That leaves me with three choices. Jonathan Papelbon threw three innings, allowing no runs and only 2 baserunners. Jon Lester, for his second consecutive start, allowed two hits, two walks and only one run while striking out 11, albeit over only seven innings as opposed to nine last time. And Brad Penny went six scoreless as the Sox completed the sweep of the Yankees. And the winner is ... Jonathan Papelbon. Saves are wildly overrated as a statistic, but the Yankees have a great lineup, and Papelbon closed out consecutive one-run games against them.




AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 6/15/2009
ProjectedActual

R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck

Tampa Bay5.65(2)4.62(7)0.591(1)38273431-4

Boston5.38(3)4.51(3)0.58(2)372638251

New York5.71(1)5.14(12)0.548(3)352836271

Detroit4.83(9)4.41(2)0.541(4)342934290

Toronto4.97(6)4.55(6)0.54(5)35303431-1

Texas5(5)4.71(9)0.527(6)332935272

Minnesota4.85(8)4.62(7)0.522(7)34313233-2

Los Angeles4.85(7)4.89(11)0.497(8)303132292

Cleveland5.09(4)5.22(13)0.489(9)32332936-3

Kansas City4.13(12)4.55(5)0.456(10)283428340

Chicago4.13(13)4.55(4)0.456(11)293530341

Oakland4.26(11)4.81(10)0.445(12)28342735-1

Seattle3.71(14)4.21(1)0.443(13)283530332

Baltimore4.57(10)5.46(14)0.419(14)263727361




Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Boston9864

New York9369

Texas9171

Detroit8775

Tampa Bay8577




Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Boston9567

Tampa Bay9171

New York9072

Detroit8874

Texas8874




Standings for the week
ProjectedActual

R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck

Kansas City5.67(4)3(1)0.762(1)5142-1

Tampa Bay6.14(2)3.57(3)0.73(2)52520

Boston6.5(1)4.5(9)0.662(3)42511

Minnesota4.71(6)3.29(2)0.659(4)5243-1

Los Angeles6(3)5(13)0.583(5)33421

Baltimore4.67(7)4(6)0.57(6)33330

Chicago4.38(8)3.75(5)0.57(7)5344-1

New York5.57(5)4.86(12)0.562(8)4334-1

Cleveland3.83(10)3.67(4)0.52(9)33421

Toronto4.33(9)4.67(11)0.466(10)3324-1

Seattle3.17(12)4.17(8)0.377(11)24240

Detroit3.38(11)4.63(10)0.36(12)35441

Texas2.33(14)4(6)0.272(13)24240

Oakland2.71(13)5.29(14)0.228(14)25250


1 - Tampa was actually 5-2 on the week, as they finished a wraparound in NY against the Yankees on Monday. The 5-1 comparison is for the last 6 days, Tuesday-Sunday.

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